Internet Resources: January 2019 Edition

Selected reviews of digital reference resources from the January issue of Choice.

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APA PsycNET. American Psychological Association. Contact publisher for pricing.

[Visited Sep’18] “APA PsycNet is a search platform designed specifically for APA organizational content,” wrote Kaci Resau for ccAdvisor. The platform is built to meet the discovery needs of behavioral and social content; the site includes about 4 million peer-reviewed abstracts, APA journal articles and book chapters, full-text reference works, psychotherapy videos, and book and film reviews. APA is a scientific and professional organization based in the US. It developed and engineered this platform to allow users to search all of its content at one time. The platform uses the Thesaurus of Psychological Terms as a means to integrate the content and provide controlled vocabulary for searching. The platform uses specific indexing and taxonomy developed by APA in order to ensure the discovery of all psychological material, including measurements and tests. The site provides trending topics for researchers to stay abreast of what is happening, as well as related content for ease of research as users delve deeper into specific topics. APA PsycNet is available via institutional site license and is included with subscriptions for APA databases and video content. It allows for institutional customization, usage statistics (COUNTER Release 4 compliant), MARC records, and administrative capabilities, as well as access to training and customer service as necessary. “APA PsycNET is a unique product that provides a user-friendly search experience,” Resau wrote. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

Eighteenth Century Collections Online. Gale, part of Cengage Learning. Contact publisher for pricing.

[Visited Oct’18] “There is a lot to this database,” wrote Jennifer S. Beach for ccAdvisor. “Its primary source collection is vast, and the cross-searchability with Chadwyk-Healey’s EEBO is convenient.” The redesigned site will improve user experience. That said, users should be cautioned that this resource is extensive but not exhaustive. Novice users will need instruction on historical research techniques, including spelling variants. Advanced users will find the Term Clusters feature a useful way of locating related works. The OCR text provides opportunities for further data mining and analysis by the user. Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO) was initially two digitization projects (labeled Part I and Part II), released several years apart. Most subscribers purchase both collections simultaneously, though it is possible to purchase the parts separately. The collections accessible through ECCO include a broad representation of works published in Britain and the US, primarily in English but also in German, French, Italian, Dutch, Latin, Algonquin, Mohawk, and other languages. ECCO’s interdisciplinary reach includes works of fiction and folklore, historical pamphlets, philosophical treatises, and works of mathematics, science, and social science. Some works, like the fables of Aesop, are represented in multiple editions, allowing users to compare publications. All of the works included in the database are scanned from title page to end pages, allowing readers to experience the full printing, beyond the text. Institutions with subscriptions to both ECCO and Chadwyk-Healey’s Early English Books Online (EEBO) can cross-search both databases. EEBO provides coverage from 1473 through 1700, which is a nice transition to ECCO’s collection, which begins in 1701. “The resources complement each other, so this friendly agreement is beneficial,” Beach wrote. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE

zbMath. FIZ Karlsruhe. Contact publisher for pricing.

[Visited Oct’18] “zbMATH’s greatest strength is that it is easy to use,” wrote Andrew Misseldine for ccAdvisor. Searching for a paper, author, journal, etc., feels just like a standard Google search, a skill nearly every regular computer user has. The advanced search features are probably less obvious to these users, but immediate help is available to users on-screen, which thoroughly explains how to use these advanced search features. These general help features are truly helpful, especially the FAQ section. Once a search has been started, suggested filters, sorting options, display formats, and structured searches are displayed to aid users with refined searches. Options to export bibliographic citations in multiple formats or link to original documents are also very valuable. In short, users of zbMATH will not struggle to find the information they are seeking.

Of course, this is all contingent on a subscription to zbMATH. A user only accessing the site openly will on the other hand struggle dramatically to find specific or general information. “The CAPTCHA feature will also grow annoying very quickly for open users, as they have to confirm their humanity after nearly every click,” Misseldine wrote. This is quite understandable as the site is not intended to be a general, open source database, although, to its credit, the open version is extremely generous in that nearly all indexed information can be accessed so long as the user is sufficiently specific. “A savvy user will be able to maneuver the site openly. zbMATH is visually appealing, a feature not necessarily present in similar products.” All words, images, and links seem to be located exactly where they ought to be for ease of use. This is especially true for drop-down windows. The graphs found on profiles are equally good-looking and easy to read. “It is aesthetically pleasing, well-organized, and simply smart,” Misseldine wrote. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. —J. Stoehr, CHOICE